(August 31, 2016) James Matthew Douglas, distinguished professor of law has been named interim dean of Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, effective September 1. In his role, Douglas will serve as the chief academic, fiscal, and administrative officer of the law school, until further notice. His responsibilities will include academic and administrative leadership; leading and managing law school operations; advancing a vision for the school’s future; fundraising; and building and sustaining partnerships and strong relationships with alumni of the law school and university. Douglas’ appointment follows an assessment of the university’s administrative structure by Dr. Austin A. Lane, president at Texas Southern University (“TSU”), and the ultimate decision to make changes in key positions in an effort to better support students, faculty, staff, alumni and the greater community. A national search to fill six (6) dean positions, including the law school dean position, is underway.
Douglas is no stranger to TSU. He earned the BA degree in mathematics in August ‘66 and the Juris Doctor (JD) degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law on the campus of TSU in June ’70, in which he finished #1 in his law school class. Douglas also earned a J.S.M. degree in computer law from Stanford University in June ’71. Douglas joined the TMSL faculty in ’71 and ultimately became tenured in ’77 during his service on faculty and as associate dean from ’75 to ’80 at Syracuse University College of Law. After a one-year stint as professor of law at Northeastern University School of Law, Douglas returned to Thurgood Marshall School of Law as dean and professor of law from July ’81 to July ’95.
Over the years. Douglas has also served in the following distinguished positions at TSU:
Among other career highlights, Douglas is the current president of the NAACP Houston Branch. Douglas has also served as assistant professor of law at Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall School of Law and interim dean at Florida A&M University School of Law, where he was responsible for the full start-up of the law school, having developed all plans for curriculum, human resources, facilities and operating budget.
Per Douglas, “Texas Southern University and Thurgood Marshall School of Law are rich in history and diversity. I am grateful to Dr. Lane for this appointment and am most humbled by the opportunity to lead one of the most dynamic law schools in the country. Our law school is fortunate to have such a vibrant community of students, faculty, administrators, staff and alumni. I am looking forward to working with our law school constituency and our university leadership as we continue to move forward in making Thurgood Marshall School of Law an even greater institution.”